Charlie Bitar describes how Hebel walls ensure a fine dining experience

The team from GP2 Projects pride themselves on being builders who don’t take short cuts.

“We always work to Australian Standards plus more,” said Charlie Bitar, who owns and runs the business in partnership with his brother, Anthony.

This professional attention to detail is why they elect to use Hebel walls in their projects, most of which their team designs, manages and constructs from the ground up.

“Our company specialises in the commercial industry, and especially the hospitality area, where we have established a niche market building high end restaurants,” said Charlie.

“When we build something, we want to be sure it will last, and that we won’t be getting negative call-backs after we’ve handed it over.”

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Automata. Photo: Jason Lucas

Hebel wall systems are therefore a natural choice for GP2 Projects, and have proved especially valuable in the construction of the restaurants and hospitality food service areas for which they are renowned.

In addition to its high fire and acoustic ratings, and the ease and speed of its installation, Hebel has yet another special quality that makes it the wall system of choice for GP2.

Solid walls keep vermin out

“The fact that it’s a solid wall construction is extremely important for the food preparation areas we build and for hospitality projects in general,” said Charlie.

“It is a BCA requirement to have solid walls in food preparation areas because a hollow wall – which would result for example by someone taking the short cut of building a stud frame and then sheeting it in gyprock – leaves a space within the wall which, in turn, provides a breeding ground for insects and vermin such as rats. In that case it wouldn’t take long for an insect or vermin issue to develop in restaurant kitchen areas where there is a high turnover of food.”

“If the proper walls haven’t been provided, the situation can become really bad. So, for our own peace of mind, and to give our client something that will last, it’s really important that we use Hebel walls in every food preparation area that we build.”

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GP2 team at the front doors of No.1 Bent Street: (l-r) Mario Lanza (Site Foreman), Anthony Bitar (Director), Matt Darwon (Architect- Designer), Charlie Bitar (Director).

The Hebel wall systems used by GP2 Projects are installed by Pauric Cussen, owner and operator of Europa Constructions Pty Ltd.

“Pauric has worked with us for more than six years,” said Charlie. “He is a specialist in Hebel installation and has a really extensive knowledge of the product and its use in commercial, industrial and residential buildings.”

Another close member of the design, manage and construct team is award-winning architect Matt Darwon, who has worked with GP2 Projects for almost the past 20 years on various undertakings.

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Number One Bent Street. Photo: Jason Lucas

Team work creates stylish restaurants

Recent outstanding restaurant projects on which GP2, Pauric Cussen and Matt Darwon have worked together, and in which Hebel wall systems have been installed, include:

  • 1 Bent Street by Mike: “The executive chef and co-owner, Mike McEnearney, has built up a massive following from his time as head chef at Neil Perry’s Rockpool restaurant and also from his Kitchen by Mike canteen style eatery at Rosebery,” said Charlie. “We’ve now created a beautiful new restaurant venue for him in Bent Street in the Sydney CBD.”
  • Three restaurants in the stunningly renovated Old Clare Hotel at Chippendale: Automata, Silvereye and Kensington Street Social. Automata and Silvereye were placed ninth and fiftieth respectively in the Australian Financial Review’s list of Australia’s top 100 restaurants for 2016. Kensington Street Social, the first Australian restaurant venture for British celebrity chef Jason Atherton, is set to enter the 2017 awards.

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Silvereye. Photo: Jason Lucas

Starting from an empty shell, the team takes only about 15 or 16 weeks to complete and hand over the stylish restaurants, which are often as large as 150 or 200-seat capacity.

As well as providing the solid walls required, Hebel’s ease of installation is another major asset for GP2 Projects.

“Hebel is a long-lasting job and I would never use anything else in restaurant walls,” said Charlie. “We also use it in other projects apart from food preparation areas, because it is so quick and easy to install.”

“In our type of work, speed is essential. We can be certain that Hebel walls will go up quickly and will be long-lasting, as well as giving our clients the highest standard of solid wall to meet their requirements.

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